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Our Shrinking World


Published 1946


Shows the development of transportation and communication, and the resultant bringing together of the world.

Great footage of technological developments in transportation and communication technology. Great metaphor for early globalization theory in image of the planet shrinking.

23:21:17:14 VS poor rural Chinese children breaking rocks with hammers.

23:21:32:02 VS Over fifty Chinese men pulling large roller to flatten land for airfield; great shot Chinese boy guiding the roller looks into camera with curiosity. Narration:
“Yes a real highway, on airfield packed out of the same kind of ancient stones, mud and water, with which their ancestors once built a land barrier so that they could live in isolation.”

23:22:06:13 VS the Great Wall of China.

23:22:16:00 Great CU slowly rotating globe beginning with Africa in center of frame moving toward South America.

23:22:21:12 VS of natural barriers: “Broad Oceans” rolling tide at sunset; “High mountains” snowcapped mountains; “Endless desert” shrub spotted desert with long path or road splitting apart the landscape; “Forests and rivers” river cutting through mountainous forest; “Dense jungles”.

23:22:44:05 Two Chinese babies carried in two baskets by mother.

23:23:00:20 Donkeys carrying luggage.

23:24:10:27 Graphic animation of spinning earth in clouds shrinking, leaving a ring where its perimeter used to reach.

23:24:22:27 Covered wagons trekking through rocky terrain and plains.

23:24:30:22 Great VS of early steam train moving up to 15 mph.

23:24:58:12 VS steam river boats (on the Mississippi ?); big black smoke stack coming out of boat’s exhaust.

23:25:12:16 CU hand tapping out message on telegraph.

23:25:21:03 Woman talking on very early telephone.

23:25:30:18 Spinning globe with ring around it shrinks to leave second ring where former perimeter once reached. Narration over shot: “With these new forms of transportation and communication the earths vast distances were losing their power to keep people apart. Our world was indeed becoming smaller.”

23:25:57:28 VS of man and wife driving down dirt road in a “horseless carriage” model T style automobile.

23:26:06:10 Great stock shot of city busy city street with earliest car and truck models alongside horse drawn carriages.

23:26:19:25 VS from original newsreel of 1903 Wright brothers flight.

23:26:44:27 Earth spinning within two rings over white cloud and sky background; earth shrinks leaving behind a third ring. Narration “The peoples of the world were coming ever close together. At a fast and faster pace modern inventions were helping man to extend his control over space and time.”

23:27:10:05 Big band performing in television studio. Three TV cameramen and set lights filming television broadcast.

23:27:20:05 camera behind heads of family watching TV in darkly lit living room.

23:27:32:13 Woman in fur-lined coat and hat with man in hat, suit and coat step into two-seater plane.

23:27:44:18 Passengers climbing step-ladder loading into 1950s TWA commercial plane.

23:27:47:14 Airport workers loading passenger luggage into bottom of TWA plane.

23:28:05:29 1950s army jet plane takes off runway; narration “The development of new power in the air has brought about terrific speed. This army jet plane can cross American in the same time it took primitive man to journey a few miles.”

23:28:19:08 Spinning globe surrounded by three rings over sky and clouds background.

23:28:51:17 Three call operator women patching calls on the switchboard.

23:29:12:18 Great shot of low flying plane speeding past giant steamer in water.

23:29:17:04 Great VS of a Pioneer Zephyr diesel-powered train with “Silver Streak” on front of train speeding over bridge in mountains and through rocky terrain; greats low angle shots of “Silver Streak” speeding past camera.

23:29:30:20 VS models of futuristic automotive design from 1940s or 50s; miniature car models rotate in circle.

23:29:49:10 Greyhound bus passes camera; camera follows bus.

23:29:58:28 VS men and woman working on assembly line (putting together record players ?).

23:30:02:02 Old-fashioned washing machines on conveyor line in factory.

23:30:11:22 Two men cutting huge cow carcass on meathook in slaughterhouse; three long lines of identical carcasses on meat hooks.

23:30:14:28 VS bananas being sorted in warehouse.

23:30:24:15 Young Chinese boys run relay race.

23:30:32:12 Boys in line climb ladder one by one and slide down slide.

23:30:37:04 Diverse crowd of children all smiling and waving excitedly at camera.

23:30:39:11 Spinning earth in cloudy sky shrinks.


Producer Young America Films, Inc.
Audio/Visual sound, color


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